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All India Institute of Local Self Government

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UrbanUpdate Setting The Agenda For Tomorrow’s Cities

JUNE 2014

Building Lives of Dignity Bridging the Financial Gap Dutch Lessons for India



The concept of inclusive housing should be the top priority of the government

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Inside Cover Story 16 Shelter for all Inclusive housing should be the prime agenda of policy makers 22 Building lives of dignity Urban poor should be uplifted through optimum housing schemes 26 Bridging the financial gap Sophisticated financial schemes is the need of the hour 29 Dutch lessons for India Learning the unique concept of social housing from Netherlands ONE ON ONE 32 The ‘right’ to housing amenities HUPA secretary, Anita Agnihotri on the status of government initiatives centre stage 36 Staying connected on the go Linking cities through the smart concept of Wi-Fi hotspots Vox-pop 40 NaMo should propagate adept governance Expectation of delivering quality urban polity Urban Agenda 46 Adoption of optimum governance New government should utilise viable solutions Regulars 6 Newscan 4

June 2014 |

43 Products

44 Events



Housing Needs Overhaul


he right to housing is not only confined to categories of the privileged classes in every society, but, even the lower strata and the underprivileged are entitled to procure an address of their own rather than roaming shelter less. According to statistics out of the billion-plus people, 377 million are living in Indian towns and cities, and in the next 15 years, over 200 million will be added to the urban population. These astounding figures entail a plethora of problems, as cities are ill-prepared to accommodate the sea of migrants pouring in. With these growing concerns, the political motive of various parties only heightens. This was witnessed during the recent Lok Sabha election where every party had its own agenda marked in their manifestos giving the citycentric problems due weight age. The newly formed NDA government in its manifesto had promised inclusion of 100 smart cities and other infrastructure boost and expedite work on industrial. What the party really needs to lay focus is on the master plans made for different cities for building low-cost dwellings for the urban poor or the economically weaker sections. Even though there are schemes like the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana and Integrated Housing Slum Development programme for building slum free while availing basic amenities to the lower strata, what needs to be done is to ensure an execution of these schemes. To combat the challenges faced by India in housing sector, we should ape some fruitful concepts from the west like Netherlands idea on social housing, which has been a unique in itself in giving the buyer the right to own the house, even if rental, the state or the government or the society holds responsibility. Meddling of middlemen is outdated in the west and needs to be regulated in India because people are unaware of the nexus of the builders and the goons who wrongfully get access to land without following the proper regulations. The regulatory bodies should ensure that the laws are procured in a transparent manner while giving lands to private housing co-operatives; a single window clearance system should be practiced for building houses through fair means. Steps should be taken to boost lower home prices and access to sustainable housing finance. For example the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 will act as a watchdog for the housing sector, primarily towards protecting consumer interests while creating an alternative redress mechanism for any disputes that may arise. Lastly, one must not forget that housing is an important component while developing infrastructure in any city or country. It is a mirror that shows the path of skilful administration and planning where the role of policy makers is to exploit the best resources and succeed in executing a dream city – a shelter for all.


Ranjit Chavan | June 2014



Modi to solarise 400 million houses Basic amenities like water, power are necessary in every household and procuring power through use of solar energy is an optimum solution the Modi government has envisaged without exhausting the renewable resources like fossil fuel NEW DELHI: Paving way to the ‘better days are here’ tag literally, India’s new government, led by Narendra Modi, plans to use solar power to bring electricity to the homes of 400 million people who currently do not have access to it. This announcement comes after BJP’s historic election win last week by securing clear majority.

demonstrated by two of the largest power blackouts in July 2012.


A substantial amount of electricity generated faces transmission and distribution inefficiencies and power theft. But such hurdles cannot become justifications to keep almost half of India’s population

be unwise to put additional burden on the country’s power infrastructure which has become ‘too big to fail.’


Narendra Modi is known for implementing innovative solutions to complex problems. During his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he aggressively promoted renewable energy for the state in solar power generation with installed capacity of over 900 MW representing over a third of the total solar power capacity installed in India. Gujarat oversaw the development

Solar way ♦♦ National Solar Mission aims to install 20,000 MW of gridconnect solar power capacity and 2,000 MW of distributed by 2022 ♦♦ Gujarat with over 900 MW represents over a third of the total solar power capacity installed in India ♦♦ Government office buildings and private buildings generated 5 MW of solar power through solar panels According to a media report, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government would further enhance its commitment to aggressively implement the National Solar Mission that aims to install 20,000 MW of grid-connect solar power capacity and 2,000 MW of distributed solar power capacity by 2022. Distributed solar power could prove to be extremely crucial for India’s power sector and economic development. The country’s power transmission and distribution is plagued with serious infrastructural flaws which were comprehensively 6

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from getting access to electricity. A comprehensive off-grid solar power policy would not only deliver the promise of electrifying India’s rural areas but would also reduce the burden on the ailing power sector. Power generation companies are not able to procure cheap and adequate coal and gas to generate electricity. The power distribution companies are struggling to keep themselves financial afloat with a whopping $48 billion debt accumulated over years of inefficient operation in the system. Under such circumstances it would

of the world’s biggest solar park, in Charanka village, which has an installed capacity of 500 MW. Under his tenure, the Gujarat government also launched a rooftop feed-in tariff scheme under which 50 government office buildings and 500 private buildings would be equipped with solar panels to generate 5 MW of solar power. The first-of-its-kind Narmada 1 MW pilot canal-top solar power project got commissioned in 2012. The project generates 1.6 million units of clean energy per annum. It also helps prevent evaporation of 9 million litres of water annually.


Focus groups for sewarage woes

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has sought a viable solution this summer to end the swewarage woes in the city through multiple focus groups, headed by senior officials to address the impending issues of water supply and sewerage in the city. The focus groups comprising of senior officers of the DJB will be chaired by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the board. On sewerage management, the DJB has planned to commission five more Sewage TreatmentPlants (STPs), adding to the number of STPs which currently stands at 36 STPs at 21 different locations

India gets first tobacco free village KOHIMA: India finally gets its first tobacco-free Gariphema village in Nagaland. The declaration was made by Principal Secretary R Benchilo Thong on the occasion

Flying squads to crack power theft NEW DELHI: With summer at its peak, there is numerous reports on power theft. Two leading power discoms, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) have now formed ‘ vigilance’ flying squads to check such power theft in the national capital. According to the private discoms, about hundred raids have been already conducted, which led to the detection of over 3330 KW of power-theft load, booking of over 750 cases. The private discoms have planned 500 mass raids for next three months around 150 areas across South, West, East and Central Delhi. The BSES teams often come under attack from the unscrupulous elements during inspections. To protect them, many of the inspection teams are accompanied by the Delhi Police personnel.

E: J

Doordarshan, AIR to regain its lost glory PANAJI: The state-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) and public radio broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) are set for a mighty bounce back. Speaking at The Hindu Leadership Summit recently, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said that the Central government will “re-energise both” the government media channels and bring back lost glory. “We want to make DD competitive in the current scenario and add fantastic content.” In a statement addressed to cable operators across the country, the minister said that he would refuse to listen to their grievance until DD was aired in the primary band.

Tamil Nadu’s NTPL plant trial in June of “World No Tobacco Day” recently. It was the result of an initiative taken by the Gariphema village council, Village Vision Cell and Village Students’ Union, that whoever sells alcohol and tobacco or whoever gets drunk and disturbs peace would be imposed a fine of Rs1,000 while those consuming alcohol, ‘bidi’, ‘paan’, betel nut or smokeless tobacco on the street and public places would be fined Rs 500.

Good days have arrived: As the BJP zoomed its way into power, a total of 45 ministers were sworn into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet. Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu took charge as the Union Minister for Urban Development, in New Delhi on May 28, 2014

TUTICORIN, CHENNAI: The early commissioning of the first unit of the 1,000-megawatt (MW) power plant in Tuticorin of the NLC Tamil Nadu Power Limited (NTPL), a joint venture of the TANGEDCO) and the NLC is all set. A trial run is scheduled for June. When the first unit starts production, the state will get 194 MW. From the two units, the state will receive387 MW. This will be a significant addition at a time when Tamil Nadu is fighting hard to overcome its electricity shortage in the city. Designed to handle a mix of indigenous and foreign coal, the plant is being set up by NTPL, in which the NLC has 89 per cent stake and TANGEDCO 11 per cent.

Council for Krishna, Godavari project

HYDERABAD: Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti will chair an apex council to supervise the water projects on the Krishna and the Godavari. The panel will have the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as its members.The apex council will be constituted shortly and oversee the functioning of the Krishna River Management Board and the Godavari River Management Board. Krishna-Godavari Basin is spread across more than 50,000 square kilometres in the Krishna River and Godavari River basins in Andhra Pradesh. | June 2014



‘Realty to better within 18 months’

DMRC hikes smart card to Rs 200

NEW DELHI: According to India’s largest real estate firm, the DLF, it will take at least 18 more months for realty sales to get steady, though it may improved after the formation of a new, stable government. “The last two quarters have been the worst. We are not seeing much change, but there is certainly an improvement in sentiment,” Ashok Tyagi, group CFO of DLF told analysts in a conference recently. The company expects a growth in consumer demand for housing in the second half of the fiscal year 2015. With increased economic activity, the company’s leasing business shall also benefit from greater demand in the office and retail businesses.

NEW DELHI: In a bid to ensure the passengers need not recharge their cards over again for long routes and avoid long queues at token counters, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has increased the minimum

Three energy ministries under one

value for top up of smart cards from Rs.100 to Rs.200, a Metro statement said. The minimum recharge value for a new card is increased to Rs.100 from Rs.50. A new smart card cost Rs.150 instead of Rs 100 (Rs 50 will be refundable security deposit). According to Delhi Metro, about 12,000 smart cards are refunded every day by commuters who get the security deposit. Nearly 70 percent of Metro commuters use smart cards, almost 17,000 smart cards are sold every day from various station.

NEW DELHI: India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought three oftenquarreling, energy-related ministries under one minister, hoping to crank up the supply of power the country needs to generate more economic growth. The new Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has brought Piyush Goyal to head the power, coal and renewable energy ministries. “The idea is clear. We need more electricity, more power,” Goyal told reporters as he became the first person to simultaneously head all three ministries. “The intention is to debottleneck the system.” India had once planned to provide regular power to the whole country by 2012, but failed miserably because of structural problems such as coal shortages and power leakage and subsidies.

Delhi’s ozone levels on rise NEW DELHI: Air pollution is once again at worrying levels in the capital. But this time it is not particulate matter but ground-level ozone, associated with severe health impacts, that has breached the safe limit. In a recent survey done it was noted that the average ozone level went over 71 parts per billion in Lodhi Road and Delhi University, compared to the standard of 50ppb. According to scientists, these spots could be experiencing the urban heat island effect where a mix of soaring temperatures, built-up area and emissions from various sources like traffic cause ozone levels to go up.

India’s $834bn for lower carbon emissions NEW DELHI: India will have to invest $834 billion in the two decades ending 2030 to reduce its emission intensity to gross domestic product by 42 per cent over 2007 levels, according to a Planning Commission expert group. The report said the measures would help in reducing demand for crude oil to 330 million tonnes from an estimated 406 million tonnes by 2030. The report also highlighted the importance of more efficient coal power plants in future and use of renewable energy resources. It suggested that the aim should be that at least one third of power generation would be fossil-fuel free. It also suggested that the government needs to allocate more resources to the ‘Green India Mission’ to enhance and improve provisioning of ecosystem goods and services.

19MW solar plant in Karnataka

Restoration work begins at Kedarnath: Post June, 2013 Uttarakhand floods, that had washed away the Kedarnath shrine, Chief Minister Harish Rawat, has assured reconstruction of the shrine at the earliest suggesting that the state government would want to make the Char Dham yatra a year-long one.


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NEW DELHI: Welspun Renewables Energy Private Ltd has announced the commissioning of a 19 MW solar power project in Karnataka. Based in Chitradurga district, the project was awarded as twin solar projects of 8 MW and 11 MW. The 8 MW capacity was commissioned last year, while the balance 11 MW capacity has now been developed. The solar installation has been developed by Welspun Renewables’ step down subsidiary Welspun Solar Kannada Private Ltd, under the Karnataka Solar policy 2011—16.


Metro station to get crisis combat centre

NEW DELHI: A powerful security control room and crisis management centre for securing the Delhi Metro network and its passengers in the face of an emergency or sabotage will soon be created at the Pragati Maidan station in the national capital. The control centre, armed with latest electronic gadgetry like CCTV relay monitors and TV sets, will see wireless links and telephone lines and seating space for top crisis managers of central security agencies, CISF, and the Delhi Police. The rapid rail transport network, witnesses an estimated 25 lakh footfalls every day. A similar crisis management centre or ‘war room’ has been functioning at the Delhi Metro headquarters at Barakhamba Road as well.

‘Audit drinking water schemes’

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has directed Water Supply and Sanitation department of the state to conduct social audit and inspection of every work undertaken under the rural drinking water schemes. Badal directed the officers of the department to ensure not only the present status of the schemes, including quality of works executed to be checked, but also ensure meeting the Panchayats of villages to ascertain their issues concerning supplies of drinking water and sanitation.

Freak storm - a disaster waiting to happen? The northern electricity grid suffered a load loss of 8,000MW, including during a fierce storm,exceeding 75kmph in areas of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Uttarakhand on May 30.

MTS to provide wifi for Delhi metro

‘GIS planning and housing for all’

NEW DELHI: The Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which operates under MTS brand, has approached Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for providing the WiFi facility to commuters. “We have successfully demonstrated WiFi service in Rapid Metro coaches. Now we are approaching other metro services for similar facility. We have approached authorities in DMRC, Bangalore, Chen-

BENGALURU: Central Minister of Housing, Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation Minister (HUPA) Venkaiah Naidu recently announced plans to make use of scientific Geographic Information System (GIS) for Town Planning for the city’s development. Talking about employment and housing as major cause of concern, Naidu said: “Employment is a major challenge for every government. No government can provide employment to all. Therefore we need to have Public Private Partnership... I urge the private sector as a part of social responsibility to provide housing for their staff, to attend the ambitious motto of the government housing for all by 2022.”

‘Its the fault of the storm’

Abu Dhabi study Seychelles’ economy

NEW DELHI: The recent storm in the capital has exposed the tall claims of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) about protecting the capital’s green cover. At least a dozen full-grown trees were uprooted and around 50-60 others were destroyed, throwing traffic in the upscale area out of gear for hours. However, officials were quick to pass the buck and blamed strong winds for the damage. “There are over one lakh trees in the area under NDMC and only one ambulance to tend to them. How do you expect it to screen all trees for damage or diseases?...expansion of roads and footpaths in several areas has left very little room for trees to grow,” said a senior NDMC official.

ABU DHABI: Planning experts from Abu Dhabi have been sent to the Seychelles to study how to develop the island country’s economy. The project is the idea of President Sheikh Khalifaand Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to improve bilateral relations. The delegation will draw upon their experience in shaping Abu Dhabi’s growth and share expertise with other governments and planning agencies. Issues relating to land use will be studied for the country’s economy growth and diversification, while protecting its environment and heritage. The plan will cover all the islands

nai and Jaipur metro services,” SSTL Chief Executive Officer Dmitry Shukov said recently. SSTL in partnership with Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Ltd (RMGL) has started providing free WiFi services on all trains running on the 5.1 km, six station, and corridor. The service will be available to all mobile subscribers. | June 2014



Yell to recover your lost mobile phone

WASHINGTON: Misplaced your phone? now you can just yell and hear your device yell back at you. The phase of innovative technolgy has reached its new peak with an application that can help you find your misplaced smartphone by allowing your device to respond when you shout, giving you clues to its location.When using the Marco Polo app, users can find their hidden device by shouting “Marco!” loudly. It will respond “Polo!,” so that they know where to look for it. The input phrase can be customised by the users so they can yell out whatever they want.

Kerala mulls China on waste mgmt THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city corporation, which is keen on establishing a centralized waste treatment facility in the city, has decided to go ahead with Chinese model of waste management, which was presented in the Partner Kerala meet recently. The Vilappilsala centralised waste treatment plant, which had been shut down, will now have a Chinese successor. As per the project proposal, the plant will be built on public private partnership model (PPP) with investment shared jointly by the corporation and the company. The project makes use of water-based segregation and conversion of waste into manure. Energy generation from residue is also enlisted in the project proposal. The total cost of the project would be Rs 60 crore and an area of 5 acres would be required for setting up the plant.

e-Waste mgmt grows 30 percent NEW DELHI: According to a recently published report by TechSci Research, “India E-Waste Management Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2019”, the country’s E-Waste market

is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 30.6% during 2014-19.The southern and western regions are the largest contributing regions due to the presence of various IT hubs such as Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, states the report. However, the country’s western and northern regions are also growing at a significant rate due to introduction of new recycling facilities, especially in Delhi/NCR region. India’s e-Waste market has been divided into various segments including IT and Telecom, Large Household Appliances and Consumer Electronics.

KMERCL to save mining ravaged areas: The Karnataka government will form a Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Company Ltd. (KMERCL) as per the Central Empowered Committee’s recommendation for rejuvenating the mining-affected areas in three districts - Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga.


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Blacklisted contractors given work

BENGALURU: Some 48 waste management contractors are being still taken for work even after being blacklisted since 2008, informed Yediyur ward councillor N R Ramesh at a recent meeting of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike council. He said the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) had found that 181 Palike officers had colluded with these contractors and made them a surplus payment of Rs 250 crore. Based on BMTF’s investigation report, the high court ordered the BBMP to dismiss these contractors, but they are continuing to work.

Civic body sweetens up to 92 lakh NEW DELHI: Unreasonable splurging reached its new heights with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) stating that in view of its centenary celebrations the civic body distributed sweets among all its 22,000 regular and contractual employees, incurring a bill of nearly Rs 92 lakh, up from previous year’s Rs 30.20 lakh. “We decided that instead of confining the distribution only to the Grade-IV safai karamcharis, we should involve, not just the regular employees but contract workers also...,” NDMC said in a letter to RTI activist Subhash Agarwal. According to the letter, sweets were procured at a total cost of Rs 91,95,070 for distribution among all NDMC employees as a “welfare measure”.

App that provides weather information MUMBAI: The Brihanmumbai Corporation (BMC) is developing a mobile application that will provide weather- and healthrelated details from its dedicated monsoon website. “As a lot of people are using mobile apps, we thought of integrating the information from the website to the app so that citizens are well informed during the rains,” said mayor Sunil Prabhu. Seeing that the country’s commercial hub nearly drowns during the monsoons, such an app will definitely be a breather for those commuters, who are left stranded during heavy rains, resulting in traffic bottlenecks and proney to a variety of diseases.


GIS system cuts city costs up to 20 percent BEGALURU: To support the unprecedented urban growth the city, India’s third most populous city with a population of over 8 million, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has been adopting various e-governance initiatives to improve governance and citizen services. Since road infrastructure is one of the key drivers of the city’s socioeconomic growth, BBMP decided to use GIS to completely transform the way it manages its road network. Using GeoCivic Road Infrastructure Management, a solution by CyberTech, a partner of Esri, BBMP built a geo-enabled,

♦♦ The system receives applications from prospective firms ♦♦ Manages approvals, accurately assesses liable revenues ♦♦ With minimised revenue losses, maximum returns expected transparent system that empowers officials with information-rich dashboards for monitoring of road activities across all wards and zones. This solution helps BBMP reduce costs by up to 20 per cent, increase operational efficiencies and make better informed planning decisions.

Optimum road network

The GIS system helpes BBMP better manage its huge expanse of road

network (of nearly 7,500 kilometres) by providing a more organised management of geographicallyspread road information. The system provides a centralised, dynamic registration of accurate spatial and linear locations of road assets, that enables easy recording and modification of data. Advanced, android-based mobile applications facilitates real-time information capture from the field.

Streamlines road cutting

BBMP, on a regular basis, has to manually manage the permissions and monitoring of road cutting activities carried out by various service providers and private property owners. The GIS system automates and streamlines the entire approval and management process, providing citizens and service providers with transparent tracking of applications and permissions online. The system, through high-quality vector maps, gives BBMP an integrated, spatial view of the road work proposed, and helps officials approve, monitor and maintain the road cutting activities.

Optical Fiber Cable (OFC)

Over the past few years, the city has seen a tremendous increase in the laying of OFCs by various service providers. GeoCivic helps BBMP with completely automated workflows, guiding officials to track OFC projects, and revenue charges involved, thereby enabling efficient revenue assessment and recognition. Provision for verifying the authenticity of the applicant also forms a part of the system, as the application goes through an automated approval system.

Pave way to solar powered roads WASHINGTON: They say that dreams are always fulflled and if it is in good intent then the whole world conspires to make it happen. Such is a story of a US couple who have dared to take innovative technlogy to new heights paving way to solar powered roads. The coulple explored the idea of embedding solar cells to store energy inside a case, LEDs to illuminate road lines and heat elements to resist ice and snow — soon after, the concept of Solar Roadways was born. The couple’s innovation replaces with help of structurally-engineered solar panels which would act as a massive energy generator that could feed the grid during daytime. They would also recharge electric vehicles while moving, thus helping to reduce

greenhouse emissions drastically. The Idaho-based couple received their first government contract to work on the project in 2009, and have been working to perfect it ever since. Initially, they joined forces with researchers to develop a super-strong textured glass that would offer cars the traction they require. They then fitted LEDs road markers to avoid destroying the cells by painting highway lines over them and heating to warm the surface and keep the system working. Brusaw says solar road panels could theoretically be laid anywhere. Such a prospect could transform the existing motorway infrastructure, and ultimately help save from an environmental disaster. | June 2014



Scrap JnNURM for new scheme? NEW DELHI: With the NaMO wave moving faster across the country, the Union Urban Development Ministry has its task cut out as it sets out to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for a ‘smart urbanised India’ and disconitnue the UPA government’s flagship- the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JnNURM) The UD ministry has prepared a roadmap that focuses on ‘developing Indian cities and integrating (the development) with growth linked to the quality of life and public transportation use’. The newly formed NDA government has relaunched with a focus on creating 100 smart cities across India.

JnNURM to be scrapped?

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JnNURM) — the urban flagship scheme of the previous UPA government — will be renamed and relaunched by the Narendra Modi government, according to Urban Development minister Venkaiah Naidu.

♦♦ Launched in 2005, the first phase of JnNURM was to end in 2012 ♦♦ However, with over 50% of the projects remaining incomplete, it was extended till March 2014 ♦♦ Building 100 new cities enabled with the latest technology and infrastructure was also one of the promises that BJP made in its manifesto The new project, likely to have an outlay of Rs 1.5 lakh crore, will be named after a “national icon”. “We will launch a new mission in place of JnNURM. The new mission will focus on modern concept for

cities based on GIS-based planning and will have solid and liquid waste management to develop clean cities. It will be named after a national icon and not after any current political leader,” said Naidu. The outgoing government planned to launch JnNURM-II during its last days and also moved Cabinet but was on hold as the model code came into effect. JnNURM-I was a seven-year project launched during UPA-I that focussed on plan-ned development in urban areas in the field of transport, infrastructure, road projects, water supply and sewage among others and had an allocation of Rs 50,000 crore. The Urban Development Ministry will give priority to linking of twin cities and infrastructure of satellite towns in the country. “My priority will be to ensure housing for all by 2020 and to reduce interest rate on home loans. People should be in a position to have ‘pucca’ houses,” Naidu, who also holds the portfolio of Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation, said.

Waste-to-energy to become PPP model NEW DELHI: The task force of the Planning Commision, headed by K Kasturirangan, has proposed a target of setting up 215 Waste to Energy plants by 2031 to generate 1,075 MW of power and has strongly pitched for setting these up through publicprivate partnerships (PPPs) with viability gap funding of up to 40 percent. They submitted its report to the Planning Commission recently, for an integrated approach towards municipal solid waste management, stressing the need for segregation of waste at source with private sector help. Since the urban local 12

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bodies (ULBs) lack the financial and institutional capacity necessary for integrated management of municipal solid waste, which requires investments, especially for ‘Waste to Energy’ projects, “it is appropriate to transfer the commercial risks to the private sector in order to ensure an efficient system for collection, transportation and processing of waste for generation of electricity,” it says. Urban India currently generates 170,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste a day. Only 19 per cent of this waste is treated and the rest goes to dump sites causing serious problems

to health and environment. In this backdrop, the report proposes that ‘Waste to Energy’ projects can be set up in cities with population above two million, generating more than 300 tonnes per day or more of combustible waste.

Model scheme

The report proposes a model scheme for such projects and proposes exemption from corporate income-tax for the first five years, immediate refund of value-added tax and a feed-in tariff, which means higher price for renewable energy, among other things.


PCMC’s plan to garner tourist attraction

PUNE: To enhance its tourist attraction through a children’s park with adventure sports, a planetarium and an open-air auditorium, the civic body of Pimpri Chinchwad prepared an integrated tourism development plan for beautifying areas. Former municipal commissioner, Shrikar Pardeshi, had taken the decision with an aim to utilise the vast natural resources of the city. Pimpri Chinchwad, known for its large-scale and small-scale industries, has a population of 18 lakh, spread over 75 sq km. Three rivers - Pavana, Indrayani and Mula - flow through the city, which also boasts of scenic hills along the boundary with Dehu Road cantonment.

BMC loses over Rs100 crore in revenue MUMBAI: An RTI application has revealed that an unholy nexus between the officials of the BrihanmumbaiCorporation (BMC) and builders has resulted in the civic body a revenue losses atune to Rs100 crore. Activist Anil Galgali had lodged a complaint with the BMC alleging that due to the nexus, the civic officials are not recovering extra water and additional sewerage charges before issuing the CC (Commencement Certificate) for the building — which has caused a loss of Rs100 crore to the civic body. Galgali, chairman of NGO Athak Seva Sangh had written a letter to the municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte on September 06, 2013, highlighting the loopholes in the improvised water charges rule.

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Nod for Rs 80,000cr green projects NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government plans to give environmental clearances for Rs 80,000 crore worth of projects. This will be the first set of stranded investments of the

government, which was sworn in on May 26, will take up for consideration. The 28 projects include those of SAIL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam in the public sector, and those of Aditya Birla Group companies Essel Mining and Grasim in the private sector, sources in the environment ministry said. Environment ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee include SAIL’s 1 milliontonne per annum pellet plant at its Dalli-Rajhara mines in Chhattisgarh, and the expansion of the marquee Bhilai steel plant and of its captive power project. Free of cost surgery? Karunya Keralam, a project shall provide free diagnosis, treatment, and medicines to all those who chose to go to government hospitals, under the Mission 676 initiative, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said recently.

16 daily die due to poor med facility

MUMBAI: An average of 16 patients have died everyday for the past 13 years at civic-run Rajawadi Hospital due to poor medical services and crumbling infrastructure, principal opposition party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the Congress, has alleged. Of the total 55.75 lakh people admitted to the Ghatkopar-based hospital, a whopping 76,663 lost their lives, said Congress corporator Pravin Chheda at a meeting of the standing committee recently, claiming that the figures had been obtained under the Right to Information Act. According to Chheda, the shocking rate of mortality at the peripheral hospital is much higher than BMC-run facilities like Sion and BYL Nair hospitals. He said during the same period, Sion hospital treated 1.92 crore patients and saw 63,373 deaths.

Drive for ‘better Jamshedpur’ JAMSHEDPUR: Senior BJP leader Saryu Rai launched a ‘Better Jamshedpur Greater Jamshedpur’ campaign seeking better civic amenities for the people living in the periphery of the Steel City. Overwhelmed with the success of the ‘Jal Satyagraha’ campaign that prompted the state urban development department to ensure drinking water supply in the periphery of Tata Steel command area, the BJP leader floated the new campaign recently to make ensure that the city overcomes the challenges of the urban populations in the country.

Upgrading civic bodies KOLKATA: The state government has decided to carve five new municipal corporations out of 16 municipalities and merge two municipalities into the existing corporation of Chandernagore. According to municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim, rapid urbanization has transformed suburban towns into full-fledged cities with their share of complexities and rising urban aspirations. In many of these towns, municipalities with their limited abilities have failed to address emerging civic issues. | June 2014



Realty slowdown a blow to NMC

NASHIK: The slowdown in the real estate sector has hit the civic body hard with its revenue through various taxes from the town planning department declining by 20.28 per cent during the 2013-14 financial year from that of the preceding fiscal. The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) earned Rs 46.56 crore through various taxes from the town planning department during last fiscal as against Rs 58.41 crore in the 2012-13 financial year. The town planning department earns revenue through building permission and lay-outs fees, betterment and development charges and fees through unauthorized constructions like closure of balcony and plinth settlement.

Barh project snag mighty for government PATNA: An inordinate delay in starting commercial generation of power from the 660MW first unit of stage II of the NTPC’s Barh super thermal power plant has put a big question mark on the state meeting the target of getting 5,000MW power by 2015. The unit was scheduled to start generation from March this year, but it has been delayed due to some technical reasons.A tube leakage is assumed to be one of the reasons. As per the power purchase agreement, Bihar will receive half of the power produced by the unit.

First manned spaceship: Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, recently unveiled an upgraded passenger version of the Dragon cargo ship NASA buys for resupply runs to the International Space Station.”You’ll be able to land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter ... That is how a 21st century spaceship should land,” SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said.

Mosquiotos breed in 13 med facility

Plantation drive to increase green cover

PUNE: Not only in homes, but medical establishments run by the Pune Municipal Corporation across the city too have disease-causing mosquitoes breeding on their premises.An entomological survey carried out in civic and

NEW DELHI: Inorder to increase the depleting green cover of the national capital, the Delhi government has planned a massive plantation drive. Nearly 7.5 lakh saplings is said to be planted in the current financial year, apart from it about four lakh saplings will be given for free distribution a Delhi government, forest department official said. As per the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report, Delhi’s green cover has decreased to 296 sq km in 2011, which is 19.97 percent of the total geographical area of approximately 1483 sq km, as compared to 2009 when it was 299.58 sq km forming over 20 percent of the total area.

Govt sets up tribunal for transport dept

Agencies prepare for Delhi monsoon season NEW DELHI: The national capital’s three civic agencies and various other stake holders have started to make arrangements ahead of the monsoon season. The three Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Irrigation & Flood Department, Public Works Department (PWD), Delhi Traffic Police and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) discussed about the progress in desilting of drains, functioning of traffic lights, as well other arrangements to meet the situation arising due to the rains. North Delhi, Mayor, Yogendra Chandolia who chaired the meeting asked the concerned officials about the arrangements and submit the Action Taken Report (ATR) to take stock of the situation and to be in time. 14

June 2014 |

state-run dispensaries, maternity homes and hospitals in the city has found disease-causing mosquitoes at 13 medical facilities run by the civic body. Dispensaries located close to slums had mosquito breeding spots. The PMC runs two hospitals, 16 maternity homes and 37 dispensaries.

NEW DELHI: Delhi government has set up a state transport appellate tribunal to address the grievances of people regarding delay in issuance of driving licence, vehicle registration and other issues relating to the transport department. Lt Governor Najeeb Jung recently issued notification for setting up tribunal to redress the grievances of people regarding transport department. The tribunal shall consist of a judicial officer who is not below the rank of a district judge. Adding to it, Transport Commissioner, Puneet Kumar Goel said in a statement that section 89 of the Motor Vehicles Act1988 provides for a mechanism of appeal for any aggrieved person relating to state or regional transport authority related matter.

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Inclusive housing agenda

Shelter for all The concept of inclusive housing should be the prime agenda of the various governments and policy makers as the right to own a house is a fundamental one even for the underprivileged... Jessy Lype, Desk Editor & Reporter


June 2014 |

COVER STORY | June 2014




ome is where the heart’, a clichéd yet a real statement. What causes the heart to flutter is when the desired home is snatched away from us. India is home to some 100 billion people, but not all of those have a roof on top of them. When our country is racing with the developed economies in terms of talent, technology among other factors, it lags behind in providing a conducive solution to generate affordable homes to the really economically weaker sections. In spite of best and sincere efforts by the government, there still exists a huge gap between the number of houses required among the number of houses still in categories of Economic Weaker Section (EWS), Lower Income Group (LIG) and Lower Middle Income Group (LMIG). The overall shortage in EWS and LIG housing in India has been estimated at close to 2.65 crores (26.5 million) dwelling units as per a report published by the government and is expected to touch 3.8 crores (38 million) by the year 2030. Out of current shortage of 2.65 crores (26.5 million) units, EWS alone has a requirement of 2.3 crores (23 million) units. According to a McKinsey Global Institute Report called “Bird of Gold”, it is estimated that by 2015, India will have 106 million households with annual income levels between Rs. 170,000 to Rs. 380,000 (at 2011 prices, indexed basis CPI for Industrial Workers). It is expected that at least a third of these households are potential customers for new small affordable housing units, given the unsatisfactory state of housing for the particular section of society. This translates to a market for 35 million housing units. Currently, the supply of housing stock for this market is near negligible.

Living a paradox

With rapid urbanisation and increasing labour mobility arising out of the shift from the agrarian economy to the industrialised and service economy in India, this shortfall is 18

June 2014 |

Isher Judge Ahluwalia Chairperson ICRIER

The lack of housing and basic services at the required pace to meet the challenges of urbanisation has resulted in the development of slums and squatter settlements with wider ramifications on the health, safety and well being of the citizens

Global scenario Several countries have adopted a range of strategies and formulated a number of policies to make an effective provision for affordable housing. Suitable to the market requirement, different models of subsidisation have evolved, incentives to developers have been devised and planning provisions have been made. ♦♦ Countries like Singapore, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark are followers of an universal approach where the whole population is provided with decent and affordable housing ♦♦ Canada, Malaysia, United States and most of the European Union have a more common approach wherein housing is provided to the weaker section of the society, which otherwise is excluded from the housing market distribution system

Low-cost Housing Conventional Main cost: As land value keeps increasing, the buyer is carefree Effect of delay: Buyers let the value increase for several years after buying Clearance time: 12-18 months Construction time: Usually takes 36 months, but buyer delays it over 60 months Margin: Above 30 %

Low-cost A month delay can be tragic on payment commitment

Strict deadline of buy and sell instantly

12-18 months

Sticks to 12-18 month deadline

10-15 %

COVER STORY increasing manifold. With five people to a dwelling unit, the minimum living space required per dwelling unit is about 300 sq ft, which means that approximately 7,500 million sq ft needs to be built. At a conservative cost of Rs 1,000 per sq ft in urban India where most of the demand exists, the overall investment requirement is a staggering Rs 7,50,000 crore. Though there is so much of gap for dwelling units, the same cannot be bridged although the houses are available at exorbitant rates and beyond the reach of most of the prospective buyers who have limited income and cannot afford to buy such expensive shelters. They are forced with no other alternative but to accommodate themselves in shanties, which leads to increase in the cluttered dwellings along with health issues and other social security risks. This is certainly a cause of concern for the government and society at large. It is a paradox that in spite of this availability of dwelling units, due to higher costs, they are inaccessible to the common man who thus ends up spending up his life as tenant or in an unorganised shelter.

We look forward to achieve the objective of mitigating the housing shortage and minimizing corrupt practices. Efficient and accountable governance in the approval process is the need of the hour which the centre should immediately initiate and ask states to strictly adhere to

DDA’s master plan for 2021 In 2001, about 702 sq km was estimated to have been built up in the national capital, accommodating about 138 lakh population. To accommodate the projected population of 230 lakh by the year 2021, a three-pronged strategy was recommended by the DDA: ♦♦ To encourage the population to deflect in the NCR towns ♦♦ To increase the population holding capacity of the area within existing urban living through redevelopment ♦♦ Extension of the present urban limits to the extent necessary

Though the government is taking appropriate steps by forming a well defined policy for EWS and create an affordable housing, through schemes like Rajiv Awas Yojna (RAY) and

JnNURM, the gap and the capital outlay required is so huge that it alone cannot complete this giant task. The various state governments , banks and even private sector are encouraged to give in their contribution for the upliftment for the low income group. To fulfill this requirement of providing low cost dwelling units to people of lower strata of society, the government is looking for the participation of various agencies including private sector for building dwelling units for EWS/LIG/LMIG

Percentage of occupied houses in Urban Areas (2001-2011)

Percentage of vacant houses in Urban areas (2001-2011)

Wake up call

Lalit Kumar Jain Developer and chairman Credai

housing categories.

Unnecessary over Regulation ?

While everything seems in place, it is the ‘mafia’ or unregulated involvement of middlemen and no policy and check on the laws that is making land acquisition a cumbersome task for private players, who wish to invest in the real estate sector. There are over 42 regulation that go on and on and delay the initiation of any project, resulting into skyrocketing land prices and speculations.

The prospects



91.0 %

89.9 %

Source: Houselisting & Housing census 2011

Currently, housing development for the EWS and LIG sections has been the focus of the government. However, in the past few years, the private players have increasingly begun to realise the untapped opportunities at this section of the pyramid. Most of the developers, barring a few, started as ‘experiments’ to explore the depth of demand and now have longterm plans in the segment. Several facilitators of affordable housing have increased activity in recent years and are pushing developers to increase their development footprint. Public authorities such as the | June 2014


COVER STORY National Housing Bank, International developmental organisations such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and Asian Development Bank, International nongovernmental organisations such as Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and some private equity players have also founded low-income housing developers, for example, Carlyle invested USD 26 million in Value Budget and Housing Corporation (VBHC) in 2011. The emergence of microfinance institutions focused on low-income housing has helped in improving buyer’s access to housing finance. Apart from established HFCs such as GRUH Housing Finance (subsidiary of HDFC) and Micro-Finance Housing Corporation, some of the emerging players in the segment are Muthoot Housing Finance, Adhar Housing Finance (subsidiary of Dewan Housing Finance), Aptus Value Housing Finance and Shriram Housing Finance. Anuj Goel of KDP Infra says: “The real estate market has been going through unprecedentedly sluggish demand in the last few years owing to economic slow down and government policy paralysis. While developers mushroomed in big numbers in Delhi NCR, market has overflowed with inventories especially in segment.” “Since the market has not shown any encouraging response most of the players started focussing on affordable housing which is showing a better response. We are also focussing on affordable options of 1/2/3 BHK with basic facilities and keeping cost effectiveness in all aspects.”

Percentage of amenities in households



61 % 3%

47 %

Have kitchen facility

Households have within premises

use kerosene

9% Have pit latrines 36 %

Have water closet



29 %

58 %

Use LPG from

Households have within premises


2/3 Use firewood/crop residue/cowdung cakes/coal

87 % Household use tubewell, handpump, covered source

47 % 43.5 % Have water Use tap water

53 %

Have to fetch within premises water away from their homes

67 %

Use electricity

18 % of household have no assests Source: Houselisting &Housing census 2011

Steps to resolution

With the formation of the new government, expectations for improving the infrastructure is vital and experts from the housing quarters too have voiced their opinion. The industry players expect the Narendra Modi-led new government to give due attention to the sector particularly in terms of easing of interest rates and speedy clearances for the projects, 20 June 2014 |

Rajesh Vardhan CMD Vardhman Group

The sector is facing a crisis, such regulations only allow less scope for builders to provide optimum housing. If the government acts in time, there will be no scope for such hurdles


The change is inevitable. The past has seen a lot of corruption due to flaws in the law. Law enforcement is imperative to generate congenial climate which brings growth

J S Rana Director Paradise Infrasolutions

Suggestions ♦♦ Provision of Single Window System for approvals ♦♦ Timelines for every stage to be defined and followed ♦♦ Creation of Special Residential Zones (SRZ) giving benefits compatible with those of SEZ ♦♦ Promotion of Public Private Partnership (PPP) Module ♦♦ Value Engineering in construction ♦♦ Concept of social housing or rental housing ♦♦ Viable panacea on financing

Challenges ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦

Higher cost of land Lack of regulatory mechanism Non availability of Single Window System Non standard building byelaws No standard land acquisition policy available Govt as mediator for land acquisition Double taxation system Taxes and duties to be paid at every stage from land procurement to handing over to end user ♦♦ Constraining density norms ♦♦ Flexibility required in density norms in order to bridge the demand and supply gap ♦♦ No policies to regulate land demand with population influx

Scope ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦

Efficient Planning and modern and efficient construction technique More focus on mechanization in order to reduce dependability on laborur Efficient selection of construction materials Use of locally available materials to be promoted resulting in easy availability and lower rates Better financial management Efficient usage of available funds and maintaining specified debt: equity ratio Overall value engineering at every step Ensuring the right to home to every citizen through the above steps

the lack of which has contributed significantly to the cost escalation in the recent past. Speaking on these lines, developer and chairman of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (Credai) Lalit Kumar Jain recently at a media interaction had opined that the new government should take up the reforms which should encompass the administrative, banking, tax and legal aspects. “We look forward to achieve the objective of mitigating the housing shortage and minimizing corrupt practices, efficient and accountable governance in the approval process is the need of the hour which the centre should immediately initiate and ask states to strictly adhere to,” he said. Chairperson of Indian Council for Research and International Economic Relations (ICRIER) Isher Judge Ahluwalia at the 11th National Convention on Sustainable Housing for Masses held at New Delhi had underlined the need of giving due importance to real estate sector. She had expressed that the sector was being seen as a driver of growth worldwide and that the Indian housing market was distorted. “The lack of housing and basic services at the required pace to meet the challenges of urbanisation has resulted in the development of slums and squatter settlements with wider ramifications on the health, safety and well being of the citizens,” stated Mrs Ahluwalia in a report on Urban Infrastructure and Services by Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India. Hence we conclude by observing that the various component of housing coupled with right regulation could necessitate suitable opportunities for the common man to dream an affordable house and ensure the right to housing for themselves.

Direct your queries to | June 2014




hile the philosophical and conceptual definitional deliberations on ‘inclusion’ will continue, a simple talisman on ‘what is inclusion’ by Mahatma Gandhiji is worth revisiting: “Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man (woman) whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him (her). Will he (she) gain anything by it? Will it restore him (her) to a

Inclusive Housing and Slum Free Cities

Building lives of dignity With the cities struggling with the increasing scale of slums and housing shortage, India should pre-empt the future outbreak of demographic transformations Prof Dr Mukesh Kanaskar, Director- International, AIILSG

22 June 2014 |

COVER STORY control over his (her) own life and destiny? Then you will find your doubts melt away.” The extent of urban housing shortage is enormous at 18.78mn in the beginning of 12th Five Year Plan, (MHUPA, according to the report of the Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage, 2012-17). The quantum of slum dwellers pales even the total population of most of the countries on earth. Out of 213 countries with known enumeration, there are 192 countries (World Development Indicators 2012: Population Dynamics, The World Bank) which have total population less than overall slum dweller population of India amounting to 65.49 million (Census of India 2011). And this is about to rise phenomenally. As the cities are struggling a huge shortage of slums and housing shortage, the key question is - are we consciously gauging the gigantic proportion this issue is going to attain? Are our binoculars anchored around the futuristic contours of the inclusive housing issues to enable us to eradicate future epidemic of urban-centripetal demographic metamorphosis?

Computing the displaced

According to a study conducted, while calculating the Census 2011 of homeless population, many believed that the enumeration of the homeless till Census 2001 was highly understated from the reality of the extent of urban vagabondage. The Census 2011 displaced enumeration exercise invited participation from the nongovernment actors having close association with field. The research team actively participated in the exercise along with the Census officials. For more than week long recce work enabled them to identify and reach various pockets of homeless populations occupying the city ‘illegally’ through midnight. The entire city appeared as a distant planet its ‘authorised’ habitants occupy sans their sleep hours. Though the numbers were prerogative of

The main issue to build a low cost housing in India is the sky-rocketing prices of the land which leads the private players with less options of housing projects for the underprivileged

the Census officials, the feel of the scale, though familiar through their field work, was very astonishing and depressing simultaneously for the non-governmental facilitators. Sans some respectable exceptions, fulfilling the norms (such as in Maharashtra- one night shelter per one lakh population) for basic housing for homeless’ survival- if not of dignity- is a distant dream.

Societal perception

The social exclusion in rural areas would be other factor that will considerably contribute to urbanisation. Seeing this in the perspective of the increasing

Reckoning the deprived According to a study conducted, while calculating the Census 2011 of homeless population, many believed that the enumeration of the homeless till Census 2001 was highly understated from the reality of the extent of urban vagabondage

Quantum leap The extent of urban housing shortage is enormous at 18.78mn in the beginning of 12th Five Year Plan. It is estimated that the quantum of slum dwellers pales the total population of most of the countries on earth

Tushar Kumar Chairman GTM Builders

population getting pushed out of agriculture, land fragmentation and increasing pressure on land, the obvious guess is towards negative intensification of the urban situation. The experiment as a volunteer of motivating slum dwellers to return back to their native villages in pursuit of a better quality of life as compared to shanties failed. The enlightenment came from a local guiding light who belonged to a Scheduled Caste. The person, in 1968 the first M.Sc. in the taluk of his native village, narrated stories of how even till then (1994) special wares were reserved for serving tea and water to him, his ultra-education attainment by local standards not withstanding the social local standards. Such excluded sections kept migrating to the cities.

Struggle of the deprived

An aegis under the AIILSG, the International Center of EQUI-T’s work at the grassroot hints at another such phenomenon happening visà-vis one such community excluded for generations- the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs). Though there is no near exact enumeration of population of DNTs, it is estimated to be more than 110 million constituting about 9% of India’s population. This is more than the entire population of the largest European country like Germany which is inhabitated by 82.3 million and population size of 202 countries. DNTs are found in almost all states in India. There are 313 Nomadic Tribes and 198 De-notified Tribes in India. The DNTs are amongst the most disadvantaged communities today. | June 2014


COVER STORY In the traditional societal hierarchy, they occupy lowermost positions. Being among the most deprived communities, DNTs urgently need customized developmental initiatives for them. The struggle is even at the fundamental levels of getting a formal proof of existence such as a voter ID Card. Most of them neither have a public distribution system (ration) card or a below poverty line card despite being eligible to avail these benefits.

Regulating the gypsies

Modeled on the then European perception of gypsies being synonymous to criminals, an offensive Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 had branded about 200 communities in India as ‘criminal tribes’. Most of these communities were nomadic. The Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 branded the following 6 categories of

tribes as criminals: Petty traders with merchandise on the back of animals, communities that entertained the public through performing arts, communities that entertained the public with the help of performing animals, pastoral groups and the hunting, gathering, shifting cultivator communities within forests, artisan communities that worked with bamboo, iron, clay etc. who made and repaired a variety of useful articles, implements and artifacts, and nomadic individuals who subsisted on charity, or were paid in kind for ‘spiritual’ services rendered to traditional Indian society. The post-independence remedial efforts include Criminal Tribes Law (Repeal) Act, 1952, Technical Advisory Group 2005-6 and a working group constituted in 2011 by the National Advisory Council. Its report recognises ‘several basic vulnerabilities of the DNTs besides the development

MMT Typology

Quality of MMT services provided

Upkeep of community assets

Category Women in Decision Making


Manual disseminated to all members

Prudent Financial Management

Operating manual is developed & practiced


Proactive participation of women 50% reservation for women Corpus fund for MMT developed

Timely addressal of MMT problems

Regular payment Maintenance charges Regular accounting

MMT organisation registered

Regular meetings

Various committees formed & are active Functioning of committees in democratic manner Strong IEC effort Gradual takeover of responsibility Capacity building support and facilitation

24 June 2014 |

Governance at Grassroots

Clarity of roles and responsibility

Holistic Self As- Community sess- Development ment

Proactive Community Participation

Institutional Mechanism

Operating Manual and Clarity of Modus-Operandi

MMT Performance


Due records and minutes of meetings Complaint redressal system present and used Undertaking social development measures Eco-friendly measures by the community Self assessment & planning tool developed and utilised

deficits and discrimination’. However, the policy intents are yet to be translated into actions on field. The tag of criminality still haunts the DNTs who are by default the first suspects in rural areas for any happening from serious crime to petty thefts. Thus the current predominant thinking among the DNTs is ‘going to cities’ as the only escape of this rural branding of the community. Hence, tectonic migration of huge DNT masses to urban areas for basic humanly survival has been initiated.

Life indicators for the destitute

The work with the DNTs in various phases-nomadic (predominantly in rural areas), transitional (on ruralurban interface, but predominantly rural) and sedentary (predominantly in peri-urban locations) indicates that as compared to the other two categories of nomadic and seminomadic phases, the sedentary DNTs show much better status on quality of life indicators such as on there health and education. Similar is the reflection on better gender equity. The intensity of exclusion and exploitation which is stark and ruthless in rural settings for DNTs dilutes a lot as they move towards urban landscapes. Moreover, as the traditional livelihoods of the community are getting redundant in a rural setting for them, there is no incentive neither a firm anchor for many of them to chart their survival around the rural ambience. Thus, there is a conscious shift of the DNT communities towards cities and towns. If we imagine a considerable, even if not major, proportion of 110 million shifting to cities and towns, the challenge of inclusive housing will increase multifold. Adding to this is the other social excluded communities shifting to cities and towns with a perception and hope of greater social equity than in rural areas.

To ensure a better tomorrow

There is proactive work involved in the development of such excluded groups


by constructively engaging and facilitating them for empowerment. One neglected aspect is the Management and Maintenance of Tenements (MMT) refers to regular upkeep, day to day running, repair, improvement and maintenance of tenements/ housing units and common areas including community infrastructure. But it does not cover alteration, demolition, rebuilding or replacement of the tenement unless it is incidental to the maintenance. In absence of a scientific MMT, the slums redevelopment many times results into a vertical embodiment of a horizontal slum. AIILSG’s International Center of EQUI-T deeply acknowledges the support from ‘Support to National Policies for Urban Poverty Reduction (SNPUPR)’ of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India (MHUPA) and Department for International Development (DFID) in its pioneering effort of developing MMT as a scientific body of knowledge by identifying the key fundamental

Unanswered questions With the cities struggling with the current scale of slums and housing shortage, the key question is - are we consciously gauging the gigantic proportion this issue is going to attain? Are our binoculars anchored around the futuristic contours of the inclusive housing issues to enable us to eradicate future epidemic of urbancentripetal demographic metamorphosis?

tenets and developing typology for it.

Enhance the policies

Lastly, the plight of non-notified slums needs to be firmly on the policy and programme design radar. A recent policy analysis effort undertaken by the AIILSG’s International Center of EQUI-T for SNPUPR, MHUPA and DFID shows that the accessto-basic-services and other quality

of life parameters show greater impoverishment for non-notified slums than notified. Another salient feature of the research was gender segregated analysis vis-à-vis the communities at the center of urban inclusion. This has led to a realisation that the further work on configuring inclusive housing and slums development phenomenon from a gender sensitive perspective. The cognizance has been that redevelopment of slums, hitherto understood and articulated more of a habitat issue, has a vital significance vis-à-vis other crucial quality of life aspects such as health and reproductive health of the slum dweller women and girls needs to be analysed. Thus ‘inclusive housing and slums development’ is not just about building buildings, but it is about ‘building lives of dignity!’

Direct your queries to | June 2014



With a steady shift of urbanisation in cities, economy blooming, the need to deliver housing to the urban citizens in India necessary but a social responsibility of the government...

BRIDGING THE FINANCIAL GAP Arpan De Sarkar, Public Policy Analyst/ Economist

26 June 2014 |



ndia is witnessing a slow but steady shift from being ‘rural’ to ‘urban’. The sharp escalation in the number of towns in Census 2011 and higher growth in the urban population than its rural counterpart have put them under the spotlight. At the same time as countries urbanise and economies grow, the success depends on comprehensive creation and deliverance of housing to its urban citizens. In the social point of view, ownership housing is a significant determinant of the mass welfare index. Additionally, housing is considered for important parametric costs and benefits, every welfare government arbitrates with a wide variation of efficiency.

Housing framework

Housing in India, particularly affordable one has not received the deserving attention from the policy makers. The urban housing shortage is almost 29 million units as per the 12th Plan Working Group on Financing Urban Infrastructure estimates. As per Technical Group-12

constituted by Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, the urban housing shortage estimate was around 19 million units (in 2012), of which more than 95% demand had been estimated from EWS and LIG categories. Due to the dynamics of the urban housing market, alteration of parametric restrictions on estimation of housing shortage may result in wide variation. Keeping average size of urban household constant, casual estimation shows that demand for housing is around 20 lakh dwelling units per annum in urban India. At present if the average addition of urban population remains the same as that of the last decade. The hurriedly amplified demand for housing in urban India can mainly be attributed to natural population growth besides rural-urban migration alongside the decay of the existing housing stock. Since housing necessitates considerable investment, a crucial constraint for the development of housing is the dearth of finance. In any country, including the most developed ones, hundred percent coverage of housing demand through provision of ownership housing is never practical. But, considering the emerging challenges at the backdrop of expectations from the newly elected union government, it is necessary to develop a sustainable environment for affordable housing.

Viable Panacea

The affordable housing solutions will necessarily have to involve

participation of the financial sector institutions which have very important role as stakeholders. Resurgent banking sector can intercede in a big way by encouraging construction and operationalisation of affordable accommodations. Although the housing finance market in India functions more in an organised manner these days with the consumers having access to 50 plus Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) registered with National Housing Bank besides many commercial banks, the gap between existing supply and probable demand is yet confounding. Nonetheless, all these offer a diversified basket of housing finance options to suit consumers’ needs and affordability. It may seem paradoxical but a quick look into the Indian mortgage market reveals huge opportunity for further growth as there exists much lower mortgage penetration in India (within 10%) in comparison to other emerging economies. Besides, the same HFC market share is consistently growing in a steadily expanding home loan market. Coupled with the above mentioned facts, rising disposable income of a section of population and low effective interest rate pushes the demand of the Indian mortgage market upward. The growth is reflected clearly in the volume of housing finance.

Tackling challenges

As per some estimates, the outstanding housing loans of the HFCs well passed Rs 2 lakh crores and that of the banks passed Rs 4 lakh crores.

Scarcity at large Housing in India, particularly affordable one has not received the deserving attention from the policy makers. The urban housing shortage is almost 29 million units | June 2014



Involvement of financial institution Resurgent banking sector can intercede in a big way by encouraging construction and operationalisation of affordable accommodations

To address the present demand for urban housing units, India needs Rs. 1 lakh crore per annum just as the cost of construction at government approved rates even if every family is planned to be allowed one smallest dwelling unit in the multi-storied group housing. This is in addition to the existing shortage. Furthermore, on consideration of the cost of urban land to construct such units along with diverse demand in respect of size of dwelling units by different income class, the fund requirement is obviously going to shoot up to certain fold of the above mentioned amount. To boost the sector further, more specifically the supply of housing finance, there is an urgent requirement to tackle challenges in the existing business ecosystem. Furthermore, the supply gap needs to be addressed by attracting new players and ensuring level playing field for them on one hand; the affordability of the middle and lowincome clientele have to be enhanced to help them enter the market on the other hand. At length, the housing sector needs to deal with the issues

being faced by consumers at some stage before and after buying the new houses. The Real Estate Regulation and Development Bill moved during last Lok Sabha captured some of the pressing needs though there are considerable scopes for improvements.

Schemes procured and future initiatives

The earlier policy regime had formulated an ambitious Interest Subsidy Scheme for the urban poor on a pilot basis during the 11th plan period. The implementation of which has brought to the fore quite a few important issues associated to channelization of credit flows to the urban poor. Availability and accessibility of land and explicit title still remains the principal issue. It is followed by challenges of housing finance of the informal sector work force. Greater part of the urban poor are engaged in informal sectors whose income alongside with creditworthiness is not straightforwardly confirmable.

Money is essential The hurriedly amplified demand for housing in urban India can mainly be attributed to natural population growth besides rural-urban migration alongside the decay of the existing housing stock; necessitates considerable investment

Though, this is not categorically to state that they are short of repayment potentials; they cannot establish their credentials to the lending institutions. A fresh stance needs to be taken by the policy makers and financing institutions to reframe their credit assessment systems. Improvement in this particular area may go a long way towards financial inclusion of the urban poor and may eventually lead to improved credit stream into this subdivision. The private sector led housing industry would initiate a response to this need and generate enough affordable housing stock. The NHB, being a vital stakeholder and regulator of the housing finance activities in our country, may lead this attempt from the front under the new policy regime. The new initiatives should take into consideration the learning from the steps taken during last regime in this regard. Efficacy of some of the following policy could be undertaken prior to designing something groundbreaking. The nitty-gritty of the existing policies can always be relooked but some of them like setting up the Credit Risk Guarantee Fund for low income group housing with a corpus of Rs.1000 crores to reduce the risk perception of the banks and percolating banking finances to the urban poor; schemes like RAY, Affordable Housing in Partnership, ISHUP and fiscal benefits aimed at encouraging the private sector to participate more actively in the LIG housing may still go a long way in addressing the housing problems of the low income households because of their welfare intentions. The observations are entirely personal and have no connection with the viewpoints of the ministry and the funding agency (DFID), the author works for

Direct your queries to

28 June 2014 |


Social Housing

Dutch lessons for India The concept of societal housing needs to be incorporated in the Indian subcontinent to garner prime emulsion of housing scarcity Tarun Sharma, Head, Urban Policy Research and Practice | June 2014




ousing in a city, is one of the most important basic human needs as it promotes citizenship leading to nationhood. While discussing the Indian context we first need to understand the nuances of the various concepts adopted in the sector from other model countries. Netherlands stands out in the way as it has evolved in social housing and holds a special place in its housing model.

Netherlands concept of housing

Netherlands housing market The state has one of the most regulated housing markets in Europe, with a large social rental sector, rent allowance for low-income dwellers and tax benefits for owner-occupiers

The facts

The country has one of the most regulated housing markets in Europe, with a large social rental sector, rent allowance for low-income dwellers and tax benefits for owner-occupiers. It has the largest share of social housing within European Union and social housing accounts for about 31% of the total housing stock as well as around 75% of the rental stock. The social rental sector in fact accounts for about 35% of all dwellings, larger than any other country of Western Europe. Though not specifically defined, the social housing sector caters to the needs of a clearly defined target group of the socially less advantaged people and aims to provide good-quality rental housing affordable to low income households where stimulating home ownership.

housing has its roots in prolonged public intervention from the state unlike West European countries where privatization began in early 1970s whilst Netherlands didn’t move in that direction till 1990s. Production of housing stock by the state reached high levels during the 1960s.

Survival post-war

Significant Regulation

There are both positive and negative views judging the efficacy of the housing policy and housing market in Netherlands, but the view holds that in a densely populated country such as Netherlands, the policy has provided for adequate housing, (rental as well as owner occupied), to Dutch citizens especially during the difficult times of post-world war reconstruction and during economic crises (Boelhouwer & Priemus, 2014). With the trajectory of growth and policy regime that India is following, there could be few inferences that can be drawn from the evolution of Netherlands housing policy. The strong position of Dutch social 30 June 2014 |

With rapidly growing population and strong need for housing stock, cheap and quick construction of houses ensued. This also led to a significant social rented sector which accounts for about 75% of all rental dwellings and of which 95% have regulated and moderated rents (Priemus & Gruis, 2011)

With rapidly growing population and strong need for housing stock, cheap and quick construction of houses ensued. This also led to a significant social rented sector which accounts for about 75% of all rental dwellings and of which 95% have regulated and moderated rents (Priemus & Gruis, 2011). Pre-1990s, the Dutch housing policy was largely governed by the Dutch government. The government stimulated the investments in social housing through a regulatory and subsidy regime. Housing policy was an instrument of financial policy as well since it kept wages and inflation low through moderation of rent hikes

and brokering between labour unions, employers and the government. After 1990s, most of the public loans and subsidies to the housing associations were taken away and since mid-90’s, the associations have been financing themselves though they have received state aid in different formats. It was expected that the associations will play a role both in social housing and commercial private housing sector providing affordable housing, social rental housing as well as owner occupied housing. Thus they also cater to more expensive rental dwelling in the country.

Under Scanner

As previously mentioned, the rental housing market in the Netherlands falls under the social housing segment and almost 75% of all rentals are through the housing associations. They are non-profit entities functioning commercially but ploughing their profits for good quality affordable housing stock. They came into existence as an alternative to market approach of housing provision but now their role is deemed to stepping on the toes of housing market itself. Thus the overall place and performance of housing associations has increasingly come under question. There have been allegations against the housing associations that state aid to them constitutes distortions in housing market and thus not leaving the market as a level playing field. Also, the Dutch people have moved from a preference of renting over owning before the housing sector liberalization of 1990s, to a preference of owning over renting after 1990s. It is alleged that there is an inconsistency in housing policy support for tenants and owners. Whereas low rentals support the lower income groups to continue renting, the tax benefits allow higher income groups to mortgage and buy. (Boelhouwer & Hoekstra, 2009). Home owners can fully deduct interest payments on their mortgage loan from their taxable income, though it is not a common practice in most

COVER STORY European countries. Consequently the gap between supply and demand for housing stock has increased as there has been inadequate production of houses as compared to the demand. There also remains a threat that in trying to balance out the level playing field between commercial and low income segments, the middle class will lose out and might not get enough support for either affordable rental housing or buy own dwellings.

Indian scenario

In India, we are trying to emerge with a clear definition of affordable housing, social housing, rental housing and a match with the right beneficiaries against these definitions. India is serving its commitment towards social housing through its central government Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA). With a mandate of providing affordable housing to the socially unprivileged as well as generating economic opportunities, the ministry’s approach to urban poverty alleviation has been to intervene on three vulnerability levels: residential; occupational; and social. Occupational vulnerability is being targeted by the National Urban Livelihoods Mission and the social and residential vulnerability collectively represent the ministry’s work towards social and housing issues. There is no stated social or rental housing policy and the market is largely unregulated and there is a need to ensure coherence between promotion of rental housing and owner occupied housing.

Where we lag

The lack of rental supervision affects both the landlords and tenants in equal measure. Rent control act has kept the rents at artificial levels and it tends to fix rent limits and rent hikes, thus killing investments in rental constructions. Unregulated rental constructions charge high rents and often don’t allow for a clear financial trail in India. Moderated rents should gradually meet with market rents such that the

Indian outline There is no stated social or rental housing policy and the market is largely unregulated and there is a need to ensure coherence between promotion of rental housing and owner occupied housing

Possibilities The responsibility for adequate housing has been decentralised from the central government to the local authorities (mainly municipalities) and housing associations. This was done because the ULBs have a better idea of the needs of local housing market provide and hence greater efficiency in targeting the local

much needed investment in rental housing can happen. The state’s role in commercial housing market should be minimized or determined completely by market forces else a situation might emerge where the state’s intervention can crowd out private sector investment. Also, with regards to tax support on mortgage for owner occupied dwellings, any policy decision in this regard for will need to be taken with careful calculation of the likely quantum of mortgage debt generated, potential erosion of tax base and effects on home ownership. Similiar to Netherlands, India needs to have a clear definition of social housing for focused targeting of disadvantaged citizens or socially disadvantaged groups. With the guidance provided by the MoHUPA, it will be imperative to define a clear rental and social housing policy with well-defined role of government at all sub-federal levels in building the housing stock.

Necessitating the idea

India is witnessing a rising low income

sector in urban areas and hence the demand for rental housing is higher as was in Netherlands. Calculated investments in housing stock in the present will ensure that we can meet the aspirations of the low income sector to move to their own houses in the future. The Dutch housing policy also has meant a decentralized approach with greater responsibility to municipal governments and the municipalities sold lands to housing associations to augment the housing stock. The responsibility for adequate housing has been decentralised from the central government to the local authorities (mainly municipalities) and housing associations. This was done because the ULBs have a better idea of the local needs of housing market and hence provide greater efficiency in targeting the local needs. A similar model needs to be actively followed in India where the ULBs play a much active role in matching the supply and demand for housing. A number of housing clusters have mushroomed in and around various metropolitan centres in a haphazard and unplanned manner, without a proper layout and devoid of service lines and other essential facilities. These unauthorized developments are encroachments on land parcels belonging to the government. bodies, public- private-institutions or areas are meant to be green belts. The removal/ re-settlement of these overcrowded un-hygienic clusters, commanding massive vote banks, is a serious challenge to correcting these aberrations for a planned growth of cities, especially in our democratic Indian set-up. Therefore, massive concerted effort needs to be made with best of administrative actions and deft political handling for the sake of our future generations.

Direct your queries to | June 2014



The ‘right’ to housing amenities Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Anita Agnihotri, in a one on one with Jessy Iype and Prathiba Raju throws light on the remedial government inititatives taken for the upliftment of the urban poor in terms of providing shelter and suitable employment opportunities, excerpts from the interview: Affordable housing, is an ambitious project of the NDA government. How is HUPA going about it, will it be in a phased manner?

By the time India celebrates its 75th anniversary of Independence, the dream of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022 should be realised by the people of India. The shortage is in the affordable housing segment as well as in the general one. The set of incentives which are currently available are as follows, these may be strengthened :

For Individuals: ♦♦ Inclusion of Housing in Priority Sector Lending for loans upto 25 lakhs, ♦♦ Income tax concessions to the home buyers for on repayment of housing loan (both principal and interest amount), and ♦♦ Thirty percent is allowed as standard deduction from the rental income.

For Developers: ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦

Various tax incentives under Section 35AD, Allowing FDI and ECB, Exemption of service tax in affordable housing projects, Creation of Credit Risk Guarantee Fund with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore in collaboration with the National Housing Bank, ♦♦ Creation of Urban Housing Fund with a corpus of Rs 2,000 crore in the year 2013-14, and ♦♦ Providing tax free bonds of Rs 5,000 crore by HUDCO and NHB to ensure lower cost of borrowing by these entities and their onward lending will come down. 32 June 2014 |

Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Anita Agnihotri


The ministry has been working towards the provision of affordable housing for the EWS and LIG segments of the society for whom the housing shortage is acute and the private enterprise at present does not consider this as an economic and profitable business proposition. MoHUPA implements several schemes, for addressing housing and allied infrastructure issues, Scheme for Affordable Housing in Partnership, National Urban Livelihoods Mission with a total outlay of over Rs 42, 000 crore. However, the need for resources to meet the requirement of ‘Housing for All’ is far greater.

How do you think you can meet the huge shortfall of housing in the country?

As estimated by the Technical Committee constituted by the Ministry, the housing shortage in the year 2012 was 18.7 million, 95% of which was EWS/ LIG houses. Therefore, to meet the shortfall for the low income group, all important stakeholders, authorities and financial institution have to perform in a team to catalyse the demand for low cost housing and ensuring supply of affordable houses. Innovative financial products like REIT and insurance companies, who are interested in long term investment with a steady return should be roped in to meet the huge capital requirement. Another constraint is availability of land, where the state government needs to play the lead role by preparing development plans by reserving adequate land and planning infrastructure to open up new areas adjacent to existing cities.

Low cost housing seems to be the need of the hour, what is HUPA planning and policing on this pressing issue? The recommendations of NUHHP 2007 are being implemented. Recently our ministry has formulated a Draft Model State Affordable Housing Policy that is going to provide interventions required to address the housing

A model of Low-cost house in Mysore, Karnataka

shortage. The National Housing Bank along with the Housing and Urban Development Corporation are playing a significant role in promotion and provision of housing for all. On the technology front, we are working through Building Materials Technology Promotion Council and HUDCO in promoting appropriate technologies for affordable housing. The private sector needs to come forward in developing cost-effective building materials and techniques like prefabrication, which will ensure construction of mass housing in quick time frame. Flow of credit to the EWS/LIG under the housing sector need to be ensured by creating a sub-category under housing.

The role of housing finance companies needs to be nurtured for more suitable solutions to financing options? Your comments.

The Housing Finance companies are playing an important role in financing a house. Of the total outstanding loan of Rs 7.5 lakh crore, HFCs contribute around Rs. 2.9 crore. It is observed that these institutions are not lending the EWS and LIG and are targeting the higher income group more. HFCs need to understand that they have been created to meet the financial requirements of housing and the credit needs to be channelled to all segments of the society. Though

the government along with the NHB are doing their part in nurturing the HFCs, the developers have to equally play a role in creating small ticket housing (below five and 10 lakhs) for the EWS and LIG segments, so that a demand for such loans is created.

How is the government planning to provide housing to EWS and LIG when scarcity of land and real estate is a major problem?

The ministry mandated the earmarking of land for housing the urban poor under reform component of JnNURM and now under RAY, the “Reservation of 15% of residential FAR/ FSI or 35% of dwelling units for EWS/ LIG categories, with a system of cross-subsidisation in all future housing projects”. Many states are undertaking a number of land pooling and assembly techniques. The government has formulated an affordable housing in partnership which will encourage PPP in provision of housing. Simplification of legal and procedural framework for conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes has been initiated in many states.

What are the current shortage houses for the EWS and LIG category and what is the annual household income limit for them? Of the total shortage of 18.78 million, | June 2014



These are reviewed after every two years based on six criteria: NHB RESIDEX, Consumer Price Index, Monthly per capita consumer expenditure, Growth in per capita income, Minimum wages for non-agricultural workers, etc.

Why banks are finding it difficult to provide credit to EWS. Reasons? What efforts can be made to meet these levels to meet this shortage?

Even though nearly 34 % of the gross bank credit has gone to loan sizes of less than five lakhs, it has not actually reached the EWS/LIG. Limited bank response can be attributed to five factors: ♦♦ Perceived lack of creditworthiness of these segments, ♦♦ Perceived risks associated with lending to the informal sectors, ♦♦ Banking procedures calling for mortgageable titles to land, ♦♦ Authenticated income certificates. and stringent know your customer norms. The ministry has put in a lot of efforts to mitigate these issues. Like the Credit Risk Guarantee Fund provides a cushion to the banks to lend the EWS/ LIG without third party collaterals. The recent launch of the Urban Housing Finance Refinance Scheme with the NHB, provides refinance to the banks to lend the segments at cheaper rates, The Rajiv Rinn Yojana, that is currently operational provides subvention of interest rates of 5% on housing loans of upto 5 lakhs, though the loans eligibility is till 8 lakhs. 34 June 2014 |

As per MoHUPA, out of the total shortage of 18.78 million, 96% shortage pertains to EWS and LIG categories. Among them10.55 million dwellings (56%) shortage is estimated to be in EWS category and 7.42 in LIG (39.5%)

tate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 which helps act as a watchdog for the housing sector?

nearly 96% pertains to EWS and LIG categories; 10.55 million dwellings (56%) shortage is estimated to be in EWS category and 7.42 in LIG (39.5%). The definition of EWS and LIG, under the MoHUPA scheme are: ♦♦ Annual Household Income up to Rs one lakh – EWS (earlier Rs 60,000 p.a.), and ♦♦ Annual Household Income between Rs 1-2 lakh – LIG (earlier Rs 1.2 lakhs).

The NHBs refinance schemes for the low-income housing are as follows: ♦♦ Special scheme for urban low- income housing, ♦♦ For housing loans to women, and ♦♦ Construction finance for affordable housing. There should be no reason why banks and HFCs should not orient themselves better to the need of the EWS/ LIG sector since borrowers’ performance is not worse than any other segment.

Will government appoint real estate experts and consultants to develop state-specific affordable housing policy?

The NUHHP, 2007 mandates the states to prepare State Urban Housing and Habitat Policies (SUHHP). To this effect, the ministry is planning to provide technical and financial support to the state governments for preparation and updating their existing state housing policies. We have so far received response from eight states and UTs namely Sikkim, Assam, Tripura, Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Goa.

What is your take on the Real Es-

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 is a very important regulatory issue that we are working on and is most relevant to the real estate sector. The bill aims towards transparency in contractual obligations. It will ensure consumer protection and promotion of the real estate sector through effective regulation and introduction of speedy mechanism for adjudication of disputes. This is pioneering legislation which shall instill standardisation and professionalization in the sector thereby catalysing domestic and foreign investments. The bill has been introduced in the parliament and the ministry is working on incorporating the Standing Committee’s suggestions and undertake amendments.

As the land availability is one of the big bottleneck for the private sector? Do you think there should be changes in the land policy? To ensure that enough land is available, we need to reserve land for low cost housing while preparing development plans for the cities. The newer areas can be developed by connecting with high speed transport network and other civic infrastructure. There is need to bring reforms in the real estate sector so that the genuine needs of the private sectors are taken care of while ensuring the sector starts delivering for the EWS/LIG categories.

What will happen to the future of projects submitted by various state governments under JnNURM as it said to be scrapped?

The ministry is entrusted with the implementation of Sub Mission Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and in other cities and towns, under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development programme (IHSDP) components of JnNURM. Originally , the mission duration was 7 years. However, keeping in view the large number of projects pending under the BSUP & IHSDP, the government has


With the passing of the Street Vendor’s Bill, the informal sector seems uplifted and regained a structured employment, what is your take on the model?

Given the pace of urbanisation and the opportunities presented through the development of urban areas, the growth of street vendors’ population is likely to have an upward trend. Therefore, it is vital that these vendors are enabled to pursue their livelihoods in a congenial and harassment free atmosphere. The central government enacted the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 w.e.f. May 1st, 2014. The Act provides mandatory survey of all street vendors and no eviction till its completion, protects from arbitrary eviction and relocation, prevention of harassment by the police and five year street vending plan for every city. The Act also aims at social security in terms of availability of credit, insurance and other welfare schemes, capacity building programmes. The

A model of affordable house in Trivandrum, Kerala

The ministry has considered and approved 166 projects for constructing basic civil and social infrastructure. As far as HUPA is concerned, it is incorrect to say that the JnNURM has been scrapped

extended the implementation period until March, 2015. The ministry has considered and approved 166 projects with a total of Rs 6,472.06 crore comprising central share of Rs 3, 531.18 crore for constructing basic civil and social infrastructure. As far as HUPA is concerned, it is incorrect to say that the JnNURM has been scrapped.

state and UTs have been given operational flexibility for framing the rules – will be critical for a timely implementation of the Act in the particular city.

The National Urban Livelihoods Mission aims to provide urban poor access to household and skilled wage employment. How far has the project been successful, what are its further goals and objectives?

The skill development of the urban poor, who constitute the bulk of the unorganised sector, is critical and

important. The only centrally sponsored scheme focusing on the urban poverty alleviation namely Swarna Jayanti Sahari Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY) was under implementation since 1997. Lessons from SJSRY suggest that in order to make a sustained impact on urban poverty, the skill and livelihood concerns of the urban poor needed to be addressed comprehensively in an integrated manner. Therefore, the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) was launched in September, 2013 with an allocation of Rs 6,404 crores in the 12th Plan. Features of the NULM are: ♦♦ Organising urban poor in self, help groups and their federations impart skill training to the urban poor in cities, ♦♦ Bank loan at 7 % interest for self employment for them, ♦♦ Construct shelters for urban homeless in the cities, ♦♦ Improved working environment for street vendors, and ♦♦ Capacity building of states and urban local bodies. The NULM is at roll stage and the states and UTs have been asked to prepare a detailed Annual Action plan to effectively implement the mission while monitoring the activities.

What will be RAY’s status after the various infrastructure projects are structured? How is the housing sector going to benefit under the tenure of the new government?

The main objective of RAY is to improve and make the provision of housing, basic civic infrastructure and social amenities in the intervened slums. But the new Government may need to look at requirement of a new scheme for affordable housing which will leverage states’ and other resources to meet the goal of “Housing for All”. As positive steps, the centre besides supporting the states financially, may also carry out required policy changes to align incentives to harness the full potential of affordable housing in the country. | June 2014



India wired

Staying connected on the go With the technology being conveniently accessible to all walks of life, it is only imperative for the various governments across the globe to utilize them for the optimum benefit of the society through installation of Wi-Fi hotspots Jency Samuel, Civil engineer and freelance journalist

36 June 2014 |



umans have indeed come a long way in the field of technology right from procuring fire to rubbing two stones, printing press, nuclear wars, mobile phones, and now, the wireless technology or the Wi-Fi. With the world now at finger tips and rapid bombardment of over-fed information on the web, there is a rise in the demand of being able to gain unlimited access to the vast details of almost anything. And this is where the role of wireless technology paves the way in.

The hotspot technology

A hotspot, technically referred to as Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), is a zone where internet can be accessed. Wireless Fidelity, shortened to WiFi, is the technology that helps one send and receive data through the internet, without the use of wires and cables. A wireless transmitter, commonly called the Wireless Access Point (WAP), receives information from the internet using the broadband telephone connection (dial-up connections were unsuitable for WiFi). The WAP then converts the information into radio waves. A wireless adapter in a laptop or mobile phone or any WiFi-enabled device receives the radio waves. This is a two-way conversion, enabling one to send and receive mails. The modem functions as the wireless transmitter. A BSNL official points out that the broadband connection is wired till

the modem and can function on WiFi from modem to laptop, etc. He adds that the WiFi range is 100 feet radius on an average and transmitters transmit at 2.4 and 5.8 GHz frequencies, so that more data can be sent. Given the limited Wifi range, in hotspots spread over a large area, such as hotels, WAPs are provided for every floor and number of WAPs increased if the floor length is more, so that the signal strength remains the same everywhere, says Jagdish, an independent IT consultant.

Indian states on the hotspot map

Wi-Fi has gained a global acceptance for being a smarter alternative to wired LANs. Today, many airports, hotels, coffee shops have the hotspots that provide public access to Wi-Fi networks, so people can get connected to the internet on the move. So why would India should lag behind, the luxury hotels in India, like the Oberoi and The Taj group of hotels situated in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad also offer wireless internet to their guests. As you wait at the hotel lobby, dine at the restaurant or unwind in your room, you can surf the internet without attaching to a telephone line. Other places in India, where you might find Wi-Fi are libraries, bookstores, hospitals, supermarkets, department stores and fuel stations. States too have incorporated provisions for citizens to benefit from this technological advancement; some of them are herewith illustrated:

Chennai: Though WiFi came to Chennai, along with broadband in 2005, Zylog was the first service provider to offer WiFi zones in select localities in 2009. However, it did not have many takers. In Green Park, a hotel with five-star rating, WiFi was provided in the common areas right from inception in 2008. It became available throughout the premises in 2012. Since 2012, many hotels, hospitals, educational institutions and government departments have been becoming hotspots. WiFi was offered for two years in the old terminals of Chennai airport. The well-known hotspot of Chennai is the autorickshaw of Annadurai, who offers free WiFi to those who hire his vehicle, besides magazines and even loans a tablet if necessary. Ahemdabad: In a recent announcement, prime minister, Narendra Modi assured eight areas in Ahmedabad to have free public WiFi zones. The programme which has been rolled out under the government’s ‘e-Nagar’ project is expected to be gradually extended to 53 towns across the state. Under the programme, the state government has launched a series of e-governance projects, this include eNagar web portal, that enables public to pay taxes and manage plethora of other government related tasks; e-Nagar mobile application; e-Ward, initiated at Rajkot Municipal Corporation for issuance of digital signatures of birth certificates; and BRTS bus arrival mapping system for a more convenient problem transport system.

Receiving Global Accolades Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, an Indian-born scientist and Professor at the Stanford University, was recently awarded the prestigious Marconi Society Prize for designing a theory and application of MIMO antennas. He was acknowledged for his contribution in revolutionising high speed wireless delivery of multimedia services. Paulraj conceptualised using multiple antennas at both the transmitting and the receiving end to enhance the high speed of WiFi and 4G mobile systems | June 2014



Waving through Wi-Fi hotspots ♦♦



World’s longest WiFi zone in Patna

Once considered as a backward state, Bihar has now earned the tag of being infotech savvy by having world’s longest free Wi-Fi zone on the stretch from NIT-Patna on Ashok Rajpath to Danapur. Bihar made a strong bid for a mention on the world’s infotech map recently as chief minister Nitish Kumar unveiled the 20km free Wi-Fi zone, the longest across the globe, at the eBihar summit. The state’s free Wi-Fi zone is the longest in the world, earlier China’s 3.5km zone was considered as the longest.

Who pays for it

In most establishments, WiFi facility is offered free of charge. “As of now, the facility is free. If there is specific requirement for increased band width, customers will be charged,” says Siva Prasad, IT Manager at a hotel. According to M Venkatesan, Deputy GM, Electronics, AAI-Chennai, the WiFi infrastructure at the airport has been provided by the service provider and the arrangement is on a revenue-sharing basis. He adds that the revenue-sharing is more contractual 38 June 2014 |

than practical. “We offer thirty minutes of free internet time for passengers. Beyond that if one wishes to use, he or she has to buy browsing time online, which happens only occasionally,” he elaborates. Ramnath, an entrepreneur adds that the financial requirement is considerable and so it is a hidden cost in most cases and not a value addition.

Security Measures

A BSNL official, Jagdish recalls how an e-mail threat sent to former president Abdul Kalam by an Indore teenager in 2006, had resulted in the arrest of a Delhiite, besides the person concerned. He also points out that recent routers come with improved security features, enabling a server to read, store and locate the mac address of any device that logs into it. In the wake of the 26 / 11 attacks in Mumbai, Deloitte and Data Security Council of India conducted a survey in twelve cities and found that most of the wireless networks were without basic security measures. Chennai with just 22 percent secure networks stood second, other cities have less than 20 percent secure networks. An aftereffect of the Mumbai attacks was the beefing up of

The WAP converts the information into radio waves. A wireless adapter in a laptop or mobile phone or any Wi-Fi-enabled device receives the radio waves Once considered as a backward state, Bihar has now earned the tag of being infotech savvy by having world’s longest free Wi-Fi zone While the number of hotspots keeps increasing, with access limited to authorised persons, people on the move still face difficulties to get continued access of the net. In such a scenario, blanket Wi-Fi might soon become necessary

cyber security. Venkatesan says that the security measures at the airport are a contractual obligation as per TRAI guidelines and have been fulfilled by the service provider. At the airport, the WiFi popup window asks for a mobile number. It automatically gets registered and the user receives a password on his mobile. The Café Coffee Day outlets in malls and in localities with high footfall offer Wi-Fi facility, maintain a logbook and follow government’s rules laid down for internet cafes. “We verify a customer’s ID. He can login using his mobile number. A key is given to him, with which he can punch for a 30-minute use. If he wants to extend the usage, he has to punch again,” says Arun, a Senior Executive in the IT & Infra wing. Experts points out that establishments that are very particular about their security, have a different password for each floor. “A hotel guest with a floor-specific password, who accesses the net from the lounge could still be traced, since the router through which he connects keeps track of his mac address”, Jagdish added on the technological advancement.

CENTRE STAGE Looking to the future

WiFi nodes could also be used for other purposes, as seen in Apollo Hospitals. RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are given to patients coming for diagnostic procedures. The WiFi nodes at various places in the hospital, reads the tags and with a software, guides the patient with the sequence of the procedures, thus reducing waiting time. While the number of hotspots keeps increasing, with access limited to authorised persons, people on the move still face difficulties to get continued access of the internet. In such a scenario, blanket Wi-Fi might soon become necessary as a viable option. Advait Aundhkar, an advisory consultant with All India Institute of Local

WiFi Phone PC Desktop (PCI Adapter)

Cable / ADSL MODEM Speedy / Fastnet



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In an attempt to encourage positive social behaviour among people and an accountability to the waste disposal mechanism, MTS India introduced a unique MTS Wi-Fi Bin, during a music festival, the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, in which every year thousands of music lovers throng to celebrate their favourite music bands, and enjoy the company of fellow music lovers, food and alcohol and often forget about waste disposal. The MTS Wi-Fi Bin, which goes with a tag ‘Trash here for free WiFi’ is a social garbage can that reward the people, attending the music fest, who chose the bin for waste disposal with free Wi-Fi access. The Wi-Fi Bin was conceived and developed by digital agency, Brandmovers India with Thinkscream as the technology partner for the campaign.

The MTS Wi-Fi Bin was installed at each of the festival venues spread across the cities of Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. Every time garbage was disposed in it, it flashed a Wi-Fi code that gave free Wi-Fi access. People could use the MTS 3GPlus Wi-Fi connection for free through the entire length of the festival

Notebook (Card Bus/PCMCLA)


MTS Wi-Fi Bin

How it worked?

WiFi Storage

and stay connected with their social circle online, instantly sharing their experiences at the festival. Also while they logged in using the code, an automated tweet went out to their social connections, letting others know about the Wi-Fi Bin. This was innovat enough for people to keep the premises clean.

Self Government points out that the antenna are the costly component and might be stolen. “Telecom companies are reluctant about erecting antennas. It would be more cost effective if the municipality and telecom companies shared assets. The street lights are the property of the municipality. The antenna can be mounted atop the lamp posts,” he adds. The WiFi ranges overlap, giving continuous access to a person on the move. Advait suggests that there are two revenue models. The first one is to offer citizens WiFi for free and earn revenue through advertisement. The second model is to charge the consumers for access and the revenue to be shared by the municipality and the telecom companies. An added advantage, as he points out is that, since the local administration is involved, matters of public concern could be informed through internet, similar to SMS. It would be the best use of technology since all sections of society would uniformly be benefitted.

Direct your queries to | June 2014




should propagate adept

governance Hopes and aspirations from the newly formed government are more, for ensuring quality urban governance Prathiba Raju, Assistant Editor


s Team Narendra Modi readies itself to fix the Indian economy, clamour grows for good urban governance in the country. The new government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), according to a cross-section of experts, should usher in a slew of reforms to revive the face of urban India by improving public transport, waste management and sewerage system along with the hurdles in administrative reforms in the country.

Optimum utility of projects

Better utilisation of schemes such as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban 40 June 2014 |

Renewal Mission (JnNURM) and increasing public private partnership (PPP) models are a few other suggestions put forth by the experts. “The new prime minister seems to have a strong political will. His priorities such as the pro-poor strategy, revival of rivers Ganga and Yamuna, but how effectively this would be carried out and implemented is the question. We have laws for everything, but enforcement is where we lack. For e.g., several lobbies have vested interests, which hinder positive urban development. This needs to be tackled with iron-fist,” says Shyamala Mani, professor, National Institute of Urban Affairs.

Reiterating that the new government should immediately concentrate on bringing in the new form of JnNURM, which has not yet been announced by the Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD), Member of Planning Commission Arun Maira said, “After intrusive consultation and analysis, the new JnNURM offers a better improvement in urbanisation. It lays emphasis on accessibility to basic public services like drinking water, sewerage system, solid waste management, good road connectivity to towns and focuses on urban planning.” “With the plan panel’s intensive participation, the new JnNURM’s focal point is on increasing public-private


partnership models. It also clearly indicates the capacity building to the local municipality and corporations, which are known for their pathetic governance and very poor managing abilities,” he said. The JnNURM that was launched in December 2005, is a massive city modernisation scheme introduced by the then central government.

100 new cities, viable?

Pointing out that the BJP poll manifesto, which has promised to develop 100 new cities, is not viable, he said, “The new government should facilitate the rapid process of ongoing urbanisation. The existing and developing towns and cities need simple basic infrastructure like good roads. Instead of creating new

cities, the government should give due attention to the existing ones.” However, M. Ramachandran — former secretary, urban development — begs to differ. According to him, developing 100 new cities is a good idea provided that there is no issue of land acquisition. “There should be a proper method for assembling land for planning and development, which is called land pooling. We cannot say whether the new government would work on the plan suggested by the previous governments. Each political system has its own urban mission,” he said.

Adoption of waste-to-energy

Voicing concerns about the waste management issues faced by the

national capital, South Delhi Municipal Commissioner, Manish Gupta said, “For the past 10 years, we have been asking for landfill facility to dump wastes. The landfill sites at Ghazipur, Okhla and Bhalswa in the national capital are overfilled with more than 50-metre-high piles of garbage though the permissible limit is 20 metres.” “There is no land available for building modern slaughtering houses; the ones that exist are traditional and discard animal wastes in landfill sites, which become an environmental haphazard. Hope the new government address these issues.” Emphasizing on solid waste management, Amiya Kumar Sahu, president, National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI),

Shyamala Mani Professor NIUA

Arun Maira Member of Planning Commission

“We have laws for everything, but enforcement is where we lack... this needs to be tackled with iron-fist”

“...the new JnNURM lays emphasis on accessibility to basic public services...”

M Ramachandran Former Secretary Urban Development

Manish Gupta South Delhi Municipal Commissioner

Amiya Kumar Sahu President NSWAI

Ravi Aggarwal Director of NGO Toxics Link

V K Arora Member, Delhi Resident Welfare Board

“...developing 100 new cities is a good idea provided that there is no issue of land acquisition...”

“There is no land available for building modern slaughtering houses; the existing ones are traditional...”

“...the new prime minister should coordinate with the state governments for urban governance...”

“The central government needs to act as a catalyst and try to solve the interstate water disputes”

“Power outage is one main issue, which needs to be addressed...” | June 2014


VOX-POP suggested that the new government should make sure that every state should implement the waste-to-energy (WTE) technology. “The Gujarat government is the first to come up with this technology, which is under process. Hope such projects will be implemented by the new government in other states in coordination with state governments,” he said. “The Congress government never gave priority to waste management. Lack of coordination between the Centre and states and lackadaisical approach of the local governance were not checked. The new prime minister should coordinate with the state governments and bring about good urban governance,” Sahu said. Talking about solid waste management, Sahu said: “Narendra Modi is very proactive when it comes to infrastructure. The river Sabarmati in Ahmedabad, which was almost dead due to the release of sewage and industrial effluents, has a got new lease of life because of the efforts taken by the state government. He has already promised to revive Ganga, hope he will achieve it.”

River restoration

According to environmentalists, the restoration of rivers is not an easy task. It needs proper planning, coordination among state governments, many of which are involved in inter-state water disputes. Also, a specific restoration project for each river differs. “Restoration of Ganga and Yamuna is possible. The central government needs to act as a catalyst and try to solve the inter-state water disputes. For reviving river Ganga, local administrations of Kanpur, Agra and Delhi should co-ordinate. Moreover, a well-planned city specific sewage and waste treatment infrastructure with major investment is required,” says Ravi Aggarwal, director of NGO, Toxics Link.

Give us Power

Power crisis is another problem, 42 June 2014 |

Uplifting Infrastructure The BJP in its manifesto promised to introduce high-speed bullet trains, build 100 new modern cities and expedite freight and industrial corridors to improve the country’s infrastructure and create employment

Urban opportunity The BJP has assured to look at urbanisation as an opportunity rather than a threat and steps would be undertaken in transport and housing for ‘Urban Upliftment’ in India

Did you know? India had an urban population of about 285 million, living in approximately 5200 urban agglomerations in 2001. In 2011, it has increased to almost 400 million living in as many as 7,935 towns

according to experts, which needs to be addressed on a priority basis. They pitch high hopes on new Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is known for giving preference to infrastructure and fast track projects. “Power outage is one main issue, which needs to be addressed. Many small-scale industries and farmers suffer due to the long power cuts. As far as Delhi is concerned, the private power discoms should be changed as they are not able to provide the required power demand,” V. K. Arora, member, Delhi Resident Welfare Board said.

Integrating transport

Sharing his views on the need to have better transport systems, Ashok Datar, a transport expert, said: “A lot is expected by the new government,

particularly in the transport sector. It should not just concentrate on building highways.” “The railways which can play a major inter-state transport system needs to be given due attention. Railways should be enhanced with latest information technology so that they can became a major player in rail freight. Trains should be given medium speed network, where they can run in 200km per hour; currently, train run in less than 100 km per hour.” While suggesting that overnight transformation is not possible, several urban development experts say fasttracking infrastructure projects that have been stuck for longer periods is the need of the hour.

Steps to good governance

Urban development cannot be achieved overnight, thorough planning is required believe experts. “With rapid pace of urbanisation, the cities should be environmentally healthy and they should be liveable. Proper water supply, waste management, air quality monitoring are essential,” said Aggarwal. According to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) report on Urban Development in India, challenges and opportunities, India had an urban population of about 285 million, living in approximately 5200 urban agglomerations in 2001. In 2011, it has increased to almost 400 million living in as many as 7,935 towns. According to projections, India’s urban population will swell to over 600 million by 2030-31, out of a total population of 1.4 billion. With many hopes and aspirations of the millions pinned on the new government we can only hope for a better system of urbanisation of a country which is capable of delivering enormous suitable prospects in the field of development.

Direct your queries to


Video door phone When technology is efficiently utilised, the organisation can reap its optimum benefits simultaneously. Security sysmtems in any company is essential and SP Tech Video door phone along with color monitor enables you to see and speak to your visitors, before granting them access in to your home/office. This security device offers amazingly effective security and convenience and can be attached with a remote door release system.


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Tata’s GGBS Ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS or GGBFS) is obtained by quenching molten iron slag (a by-product of iron and steel-making) from a blast furnace in water or steam, to produce a glassy, granular product that is then dried and ground into a fine powder. Tata Steel’s GGBS, promises to be a sustainable and cost effective material that will not only increase the compressive strength and durability of concrete but also reduce carbon foot-print significantly.


♦♦ It has quality, and is sustainable concrete ♦♦ Reduction in CO2 emissions ♦♦ GGBS can be used in concrete as combinations of cement under EN 197 ♦♦ It has high solar reflectance ♦♦ It is durable | June 2014



Events Calender 17th GISFI Standardisation Series Meeting and Workshop on Green Mobile Communications June 2-4, Rajalakshmi Engineering College (REC), Thandalam, Chennai National Summit On ICT in Healthcare June 4, Hotel Le Méridien, New Delhi Green Summit 2014 June 5 -7, White Orchid Convention Centre, Bengaluru

Illuminating via LEDs The recent LED Expo 2014, saw a plethora of innovation done in the field of lighting through an exhibition dedicated towards the science, technology and application of LEDs (light-emitting diode; a semiconductor light source. The LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for other lighting) and SSLs (solid-state lighting).The expo’s focal point lies on the electronic and electrical industry.


The expo, held on May 8-10th, had

set a benchmark for the industry by displaying the varied technologies and new innovations in the sector. The expo was a platform to give complete insight in defining the future of the industry in an fiercely competitive market. The exhibition has created records in terms of quality, standards and hospitality in the past years, and was a great opportunity for exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. The event was supported by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, ELCOMA & ELCINA, which received equal success and acclaim.

India Agenda 2014-2019 June 11, Hotel Taj Mahal, New Delhi Renergy 2014 June 12-14, Chennai Trading Centre, Nadambakkam, Chennai VCCircle Entrepreneurs Summit 2014 June 18, Vivanta by Taj, Bengaluru Manufacturing Innovation Conclave June 20-22, Leela Palace Kempinski, New Delhi Energy Technology, Power Engineering & Environmental Sustainability conference (ETPEES-2014) June 21-22 , New Delhi 2014 Frost & Sullivan India ICT Awards June 24, Le Meridien, New Delhi Techcircle Mobile Forum 2014 June 25, Sheraton Saket, Delhi Secutech India 2014 June 26-28, New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai

44 June 2014 |

To procure sustainable environment worldwide The endless demands due to urbanisation is making the world witness a sea of climatic change, like the shocking downpour in the Emirates, floods, cyclone and Tsunami. The governments across the world should join hands in helping sustain the leftover vital resources so that our future generations doesn’t bear the brunt. Laying focus on similar lines is a conference on ecological sustainability known as EcoProcura, which will provide a dynamic and unique setting to network, through interaction and learning from key speakers through a thought-provoking programme. EcoProcura 2014 will shower the participants with the latest information, advice and tools on the correct practices to implement high quality, cost effective sustainable procurement and procurement of innovation. Hansa Patel, Chairperson of ICLEI, South Asia, speaking about the concept opined: “Among the major challenges facing the commuters today, are the dramatic consequences to climatic change, excessive use of natural resources, threats to bio-diversity and increasing poverty.” “Sustainable procurement is thinking carefully about what you buy and purchasing considering the impacts of it on the social and economic spheres,” she added. To be held during the month of September from the 24-26th, in the city of Ghent, Belgium, the conference will ponder on the questions of how to capitalise on the cost efficiency of sustainable procurement; the obstacles for mainstreaming sustainable procurement; how to develop integrated sustainable public procurement strategies across the organisation and help the participants execute necessary steps to resolve the issue of climate change or global warming.


Building ecology efficiently Building and construction sector is an an important component for any countries infracturcture and urban development. Ecobuild India is the perfect opportunity to expand the business into the rapidly growing market. Currently worth more than US$ 300 billion, this market is estimated to increase up to US$ 500 billion by 2015. Ecobuild India is a cost-effective way to access the market, meet the local supply chain and understand the local requirement within the country.

Experts brainstrom

Taking the sustainability dialogue through new ideas, pulsating discussions and engaging stakeholders and experts, the conference sessions were held on May 9-10th, with two streams “Beyond the Built Environment: Achieving India’s Sustainable Future” and “Making Sustainable Design and Construction Happen” dwelled on the pressing issues affecting government policy and the construction sector. Larger issues of climate change, wa-

ter conservation, collaboration in the area of energy poverty among other tangible issues such as the role of architects and planners in improving urban planning and design, the future of house building through green construction and design, sustainable infrastructure and the road towards creating an energy efficient property sector were also pondered upon.

Thumps up to solar and wind power Renewable energy options like solar and wind power offers huge potential for power generation that would entail less dependence on fossil fuels and associated benefits.

While the state of Rajasthan already has significant experience with the generation and transmission of renewable energy, there are concerns relating to accelerated deployment of

renewable energy. The Conference on “Solar and Wind Power: Destination Rajasthan”, held by ASSOCHAM on May 1st, focused on various policy initiatives and technical developments favouring growth of renewable energy sector in the state. Rajasthan is emerging as a national leader in renewable energy as fifty percent of the total allotted projects under Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission – Phase 2 ( Batch I) are located here. Proding critical infrastructure such as solar park and evacuation system, along with innovative financing mechanisms and technologies are priority areas for the growth of renewable energy in the state. | June 2014



Adoption of optimum governance Apresh Chandra Mishra Managing Editor


here is indeed countless aspirations and hopes affixed in every newly formed government, and it is a very critical aspect as it mounts enormous pressure to excel for the policy makers of fulfilling their role as administrators. In India, every now and then a new city is emerging; with the rapid pace of migration to the urban areas, resulting in planning new regulations, schemes, plans that are drawn out and moved in the parliament. But how far are these implemented? This is mostly an unanswered and often ignored question which results in mismanagement at various quarters be it at the district or rural level - the municipalities and the urban local bodies.

Wake up from slumber

Even as the new government is formed and the duties allocated to a string of 45 ministers in the NDA cabinet, what guarantees a suitable governance is rightful execution of the numerous plans, schemes and regulation for quality urbanisation in the cities 46 June 2014 |

Most of our municipal bodies are cash strapped, unable to take care of the city’s needs. The workforce is poor. Given the indifferent reputation of urban bodies, they tend to attract talent that can’t rise to the challenges at hand. A recent assessment of our cities shows how a lethal mix of mismanagement and lack of autonomy is driving our cities into chaos and possibly, collapse, if not addressed urgently. Here are some lookouts that can boost in bringing adept polity:

Autonomy in municipal corporations

As a result of economic development in India, urbanisation is proceeding at a very rapid rate. Cities and towns contribute to more than 60% of the GDP. So it becomes imperative to develop an efficient urban or municipal government. The civic body in the various states and cities play a crucial role in planning and development of the urban areas but lately they are facing a crux due to lower revenues while being overstaffed, political interference and ill-planning of the infrastructure projects. These issues, experts believe can

be mended by incorporating autonomy in the civic agencies to ensure that the responsibilities will shift from the central government to the local level along with the resources required. For initiation of making the municipality into an autonomous one, came the 74th Constitutional Amendment which laid down the structure of urban local bodies by providing regular, free and fair elections, provision for reservation of seats for SC, ST and OBCs, protecting them against arbitrary dissolution, specification of powers and responsibilities and decentralised planning.

Procuring soft infrastructure

Technology in today’s time is enthralling essential component that is needed in almost every quarters in policy making, among others in the civic agencies. In late 2010, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) took an initiative and proposed the National Broadband Plan (NBP), an ambitious project aiming to use Rs 600 billion of investment to bring high-speed connectivity to PCs in 160 million households. The plan outlines setting up of State Optic Fibre Agencies in each state and another National Optic Fibre Agency. Under the NBP, the Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), a special purpose vehicle, was set up by the government. The objective of BBNL was to manage and operate the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN). The NOFN eventually provided connectivity to 250,000 Gram Panchayats -- it has the potential to transform many aspects of India, including areas such as education, business, entertainment, environment, health households and e-governance services among others. With the incorporation of these two components of technology and autonomy, the administrative and the decision making process will improvise and put India into the map of a well suited developing country taking charge of the populace and its growth.

Urban Update June 2014  

Inclusive housing should be the agenda of the government to uplift the urban poor and eradicate the slum clusters

Urban Update June 2014  

Inclusive housing should be the agenda of the government to uplift the urban poor and eradicate the slum clusters